Ideas will blossom with Ikebana master artist

By Duvindi Ilankoon

Men and women the world over have used flowers to convey feelings since the birth of time. It is only natural, then, that the art of flower arrangement came into being, and gained massive popularity across the world. Sri Lanka was quick to pick up on the trend; the Shi-En Ikebana and Floral Art Society came into being in 1991, and has been going strong ever since, with membership totalling over 80 skilled flower arrangers at present.

The society has invited British floral demonstrator Ian Buxton to give a demonstration titled ‘Celebrating Flowers & Flavours’ today at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo from 5.30-8 p.m.

Ian’s love of floral arrangement dates as far back as the 60’s, when as a young boy he would create table arrangements with flowers for his family’s catering business. He went on to join the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS), subsequently passing the NAFAS Area Demonstrators’ Test and from then on the National Demonstrators Test. He is also a NAFAS judge, and in 2003 led the NAFAS exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, which was awarded a unanimous Gold medal.

The proceeds from the show will go towards the Thalassaemia ward of the Karapitiya Hospital in Galle, which the society has been working with for the past few years. Ian magnanimously offers his expertise free of charge for the event, stating, “I understand the importance of healthcare. It’s a great cause and I’m very glad to contribute towards it.’ He expresses delight at the island’s flora and fauna, quipping, “You Sri Lankans take things for granted here! There is so much beautiful greenery around and I will be making use of it.”

In addition to today’s demonstration, he will also conduct a workshop for the members of the Shi-en Ikebana society. Tickets for the show can be obtained by contacting Shi-en Ikebana’s president Shanti Shamuganadhan on 0772343500.

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